G. L accuses govt of trying to stamp out public criticism

by Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) yesterday lashed out at yahapalana rulers for blocking the social media sites. He said they were trying to block criticism against the government.

SLPP Chairman Prof. G. L Peiris told the media at the party headquarters in Battaramulla that the government had restricted the right to expression by blocking those social media platforms.

Many people who used the social media sites for online business purposes had been badly affected by the government action, said Prof. Peiris.

If the blockage was a temporary one as the government was trying to convince the public, they could have lifted it within 24 or 36 hours, Prof. Peiris said. When Minister Mahinda Amaraweera expressed concern about many people criticising the government using social media, it was very clear that what the government wanted was to restrict the public of using those sites, said Prof. Peiris.

Commenting on the declaration of a state of Emergency by President Maithripala Sirisena, the law professor noted that it was a harebrained decision taken by the government as it had seriously affected the country’s tourism industry and also foreign investment.

If the government had taken prompt action without any delay to control the communal violence in Kandy, it wouldn’t have had to declare state of emergency, he said.

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